Hadassah Ein Karem hospital worker. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90) Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

“There is an excellent vaccine. We start after the holidays with safety and efficacy experiments, but we have the product in hand,” Prof. Shapira stated.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

The Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) in Ness Ziona has made further progress toward a Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine and will commence trials on humans after the New Year holidays, in October.

Minister of Defense Benny Gantz visited the Biological Institute on Thursday together with the director of the institute Prof. Shmuel Shapira and learned of the advances in the development of the Corona vaccine and antibody.

“Experiments on humans should begin after the [Hebrew month of Tishrei] High Holidays,” Gantz declared.

“All the first experiments have been successful and are great news and a very big hope,” he added.

“Just as the IDF has special units that break in and pave the way for it – you are the Special Forces of the State of Israel in the field of vaccines,” he stated after the visit.

Shapira recounted how the IIBR set off six months ago to find a vaccine and now “there is an excellent vaccine. We start after the holidays with safety and efficacy experiments, but we have the product in hand.”

Vaccine tests on golden Syrian hamsters showed that a serum they have developed is effective, paving the way for tests on humans.

In May, the IIBR officially announced that it had completed the patent registration for eight Coronavirus antibodies, another significant step towards the production of a cure for the pandemic.

To date, some 19,006,000 Coronavirus cases have been registered worldwide in 213 countries, with over 711,900 deaths and some 12,192,000 recoveries.

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